Honduras - Secondary Education
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceHonduras - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education
There are two stages in secondary education: lower and upper. To be accepted in the lower level (equivalent to the American middle school or junior high) students must have completed six years of primary education. In the lower level there are two tracks, called common cycles: the common cycle of general culture and the prevocational common cycle. Both tracks last two years and enroll students from ages 13 to 16. The common cycles prepare students with basic knowledge that they can use either for a vocational career or to move on to the next academic level.
The upper secondary level is called diversified education. It lasts two years, from 16 to 18 years of age. To be accepted, students at this upper level must have completed the general culture common cycle. They can specialize in either sciences or letters. They are awarded the high school degree (bachillerato) upon completion of their studies.
Students who opt out of diversified education can enroll in a three-year technical secondary school program, for students ages 16 to 19. Students learn practical skills that prepare them for more vocational training, or they try to get a job. The technical track awards certificates in public accounting, primary teaching, or business. By choosing this option, students can enter the workforce more quickly.
Private secondary schools compete with public ones. There are more than 150 private secondary schools in Honduras, and they cater to the rich and the middle class. A lack of both private and public schools at this level explains why more than two-thirds of students who graduate from primary schools do not continue on to secondary education. Nonetheless, those who do not have access to centers of secondary learning have the option of enrolling in a distance education system. Many who do so, as might be expected, come from rural areas.
There are many specialized secondary schools in the country. They include the School of Fine Arts, the National School of Forestry, the National School of Agriculture, and the National School of Music. Admission to these schools depends upon completion of primary studies.